C a s e
From Victorian to Virtual
s t u d y
Customer Details Pivotal CRM has helped savills achieve dynamic growth through the
delivery of highly personalized services and become one of the world’s
major providers of global property services.
Country or Region
Pivotal CRM solutions touch every aspect of as a means to not only reduce IT operating and
Industry Savills' business, including marketing, sales, management costs but, more importantly, to
Property and real estate services service, HR and finance across its residential, drive improved customer service at a time when
commercial and private finance divisions. Since both the commercial and residential property
Customer Profile 1998, the company has pursued a strategy to markets were experiencing considerable
Savills is the trading name for the principal centralize its IT systems, including all contact growth. The board recognized that offering a
property services subsidiaries of Savills management and CRM systems. As a result, highly personalized and responsive service to
plc, a UK company with a full listing on the Savills has achieved dynamic growth by placing their clients would place the company in a very
London Stock Exchange. Founded in 1855, themselves in a strong position to offer a highly strong position to capitalize upon this market
the business is one of the leading firms of
personalized service to both its residential and growth across all aspects of the business.
international property consultants and real
estate agents in the world. commercial clients around the world.
Such a business objective could not be
With offices and associates throughout the Much of this success can be attributed to the achieved using the company’s existing IT
UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, the USA, and successful development and deployment of infrastructures, which differed from division
Canada, Savills plc holds a powerful global Pivotal CRM solutions. As well as achieving to division. The aim was to transition from
position employing 14,500 people worldwide, increases in customer attainment and diverse and disparate systems across
of which 2,500 are based in the UK. In 2004, service levels, the company has also realized multiple locations to a suite of consistent,
the company reported revenues of £327.97
significant increases in employee satisfaction single applications from which all employees
leading to reduced employee turnover. could quickly derive benefit, to be controlled
Furthermore, operating costs have been and managed by a Group IT function. The
significantly reduced and revenues increased approach was therefore one of consolidation
by gaining a unified view of all clients across and centralization and, most importantly, rapid
their entire business, enabling stronger up-sell development of new systems and applications
and cross-sell opportunities to be identified. in order to meet aggressive timescales.
Having achieved success with the use of Pivotal During the same timeframe, Savills Private
CRM solutions in the UK and Europe, the Finance was searching the IT market for a
company is now entering a new phase aimed specialist property contact management and
at centralizing their core business systems to mortgage quoting system driven by the need
include the Asia-Pacific regions. As part of this to become both PIA (Personal Investment
new phase, the company has adopted Pivotal Authority) and Y2K compliant.
5.7, which offers tighter integration between
Within six months, SPF was required to prove
functional modules as well as improved user
that they could show a full audit trail on all
interface and customization capabilities.
mortgage services provided to their clients.
Future plans for the continued development This, coupled with the drive to achieve Y2K
of Pivotal CRM solutions also include the use compliance, meant that speed and flexibility
of CDC MarketFirst for the company’s client were of the essence.
communications, as a means to sustain brand
SPF assessed the benefits of both specialist
integrity by implementing fully co-ordinated,
industry solutions as well as CRM solutions,
consistent and cost-effective electronic
including Siebel. Neither route was pursued.
communications across the group.
Either the applications were too focused on the
residential side of property management and
therefore would not be of use to the company’s
the Business decision commercial division, or, as was the case for
In the late ‘90s, the Savills plc board took the the CRM solutions, were considered to be
strategic decision to centralize all IT systems too inflexible, cumbersome, expensive and
Pivotal CRM | Case Study
time-consuming to deploy. Confidence in meeting regulatory improved customer service through highly responsive,
standards and Y2K deadlines could not be assured. personalized communications.
the Introduction to Pivotal CRM Integration is Key
Introduced by an external consultant, SPF made the decision Historically, the estate agency and property management
to develop a customized contact management and mortgage industry has been slow to realize the value of the Internet as
solution based upon Pivotal CRM. Directly as a result of a significant sales and marketing channel. Savills recognized
the success, in terms of speed of deployment and flexibility the importance of being able to integrate the traditional estate
to develop customized applications, Savills plc made the agency business with their online business.
strategic decision to standardize on the Pivotal CRM platform
Digital assets such as floor plans, photographs, and
to meet the business needs of all divisions of the company.
unstructured text are stored in Alchemy Gold, which integrates
As part of this centralized approach, Savills plc now seamlessly with Pivotal CRM. This approach enables users
standardizes on the Microsoft platform using Citrix and MS to select standard templates within Pivotal CRM applications,
Windows Terminal Server connecting over WANs to virtual and use a single system to create property details once and
desktops. As a key element of this infrastructure, Pivotal directly publish these across multiple channels in multiple
CRM delivers the single database and related business formats, including printed brochures, web and e-mail.
applications for users across marketing, sales, service,
Pivotal CRM is also used to populate the company’s web site
finance and HR. More than 2,000 users currently use the
with relevant structured text and images, as well as associate
Pivotal CRM system across the UK and Europe with future
property portal sites, including www.primelocation.com. In
plans to increase the user base across both geographic
addition, Pivotal CRM directly feeds printers online with text
locations and business divisions.
and high-resolution graphics for next-day delivery of printed
By leveraging the power of the Pivotal CRM system,
Savills can now automatically match new property details
Our Pivotal CRM applications have become the with potential buyers contained within the Pivotal CRM
metaphorical dashboard and engine for our entire contact management system and more effectively market
the properties via the buyer’s preferred communication
business. We are now in a far stronger position to channel—e-mail, phone, or regular mail.
drive our business forward into the next phase of Throughout the entire selling process, the Pivotal CRM
growth. Pivotal CRM has taken Savills from Victorian system is used to manage all costs and disbursements
to virtual! associated with each individual transaction and, once the
” Richard Coleman
Group IT Director
sale is completed, Pivotal CRM is used to feed the company’s
financial systems to invoice vendors. As part of this process,
Pivotal CRM produces documents with Crystal Reports
Savills plc and automates the workflow behind the entire approval
process from front to back-office. Equally, final payment and
settlement transactions are also automatically recorded within
Running the Business day-to-day
The first priority was to develop a fully integrated suite of
applications to underpin the needs of the residential property More effective Communications through
sales and management division. The resulting system called CdC MarketFirst
SpiKE (Savills Property Information & Knowledge Exchange) Having acquired FPD in the Asia-Pacific region and formed
has been developed entirely using Pivotal CRM technologies. a strategic alliance with Trammell Crow Company, one of
The primary focus for the new system was to establish the USA’s top full service real estate advisory companies,
a single contact management system for the division. it was extremely important for the company to uphold its
Previously, client information existed in multiple formats, brand name and identity and deliver consistent, co-ordinated
systems and locations, including MS Access databases, communications to its clients across each of its divisions.
spreadsheets, manual systems, and legacy systems. Driven by these business reasons, in January 2003, Savills
Due to the speed and flexibility with which Savills has been bought CDC MarketFirst as a communications solution for its
able to use Pivotal CRM to develop and implement new marketing function, which would not only help its marketers to
business modules, the company has not only been able to more effectively plan and manage their marketing campaigns,
centralize its core client information, but has now been able but would also ensure brand and messaging consistency.
to automate its business processes and more effectively Having undergone a two-week period of training and
manage all aspects of property sale and management. implementation, CDC MarketFirst was up and running seven
As a result, the company has witnessed improved sales days later. As an integral module within the standard Pivotal
closure rates, reduced sales cycles, increased new client
acquisitions, a growth in up-selling and cross-selling and
CRM suite of applications, Savills has used CDC MarketFirst Pivotal CRM’s research & development team in Vancouver,
for a number of initiatives including: B.C., Canada, on an as-needed basis.
• Personalized customer news service, including content In the words of Richard Coleman, Group IT Director, “We
directly in line with buyers’ property specifications to which rarely get an error message relating to a Pivotal CRM
over 9,000 clients subscribe application itself. In effect, the system is self-managing.”
• Distribution of research information by the valuation
Savills has now established a mature end-user training
department, which has led to increased sales
program for their Pivotal CRM-based applications. Training
• Conversion of printed documents to e-mail content by on Pivotal CRM is an integral element of the company’s
research department employee induction program, where only after employees
• Control, monitoring, and tracking of all e-mail marketing, have successfully completed their training programe are they
including the creation of banners and content by the web given full access to the system.
services department By adopting this approach, Savills has ensured 100% user
With an initial focus on the UK, it is planned to rollout CDC acceptance as well as maintaining the correct standards
MarketFirst across further Savills geographies in line with the of system usage. As one new employee commented, “The
overall consolidation of systems and applications. systems are fantastic in comparison to our competitors.”
In effect, Pivotal CRM is used to make the lives of the
company’s negotiators, property managers, and estate agents
Using Pivotal CRM, we are now able to manage the easier such that they are able to focus on the business of
selling and managing properties rather than be burdened by
complete process of selling properties through a administrative paperwork and procedures.
single system. From attracting vendors, marketing
properties and matching to prospective buyers,
managing expense claims and invoicing vendors,
Since 1998, Savills has made extensive use of the Pivotal
Pivotal CRM underpins our entire business on a day- CRM system, taking it far beyond the functionality of pure
CRM. The secret of their success lies in the unique application
of sound business knowledge to the development of
Richard Coleman applications using a highly flexible, customizable and open
Group IT Director system that has enabled the company to quickly develop
applications that directly meet their business needs.
According to Coleman, “Our Pivotal CRM applications have
become the metaphorical dashboard and engine for our entire
the Future Goes Mobile business. We are now in a far stronger position to drive our
In order to meet the business requirements of the company’s business forward into the next phase of growth. Pivotal CRM
commercial division, Savills is drawing on the power of the has taken Savills from Victorian to virtual!”
Pivotal CRM platform to support mobile and wireless devices,
including PDAs and smartphones. Accessing the commercial
division’s property management and contact management
system on the move will enable the company’s property
managers to respond to their clients’ needs instantly. In this
way, the company will be providing superior levels of service
to their commercial clients.
the Value of a Flexible, Highly Customizable,
During the six-year relationship with Pivotal CRM, Savills has
made extensive use of the Pivotal Toolkit to develop more
than 80 different business modules using their in-house
development teams. Having received initial administration and
customization training on the Pivotal CRM system from Pivotal
Professional Services, Savills now develops and maintains
all of its applications in-house. The company’s Pivotal CRM
development team maintains a direct communication with
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Learn More about Pivotal CRM
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